Wednesday, December 28, 2011

from partial to full-frontal yellow on British Railways

Two photos of a British Rail Class 415 (or 4EPB) electric multiple unit entering Orpington, Kent, the first in 1970, the second in 1980.  It can be seen that in the intervening decade, the dark green has been replaced with blue and the yellow patch on the front has become a yellow wall.

As far as we can tell from photos, the yellow patch first appeared on BR in 1963 and became de rigueur in the mid-1970s.  With the devotion of NZ officialdom to practices in the 'mother country', NZR followed suit with yellow fronts, although not until the late 1970s and only with diesel locos when they were repainted in the fruit salad scheme.  It has since become universal.
The Class 415 was built for the 750 V DC third rail Southern Region of BR between 1951 and 1957; arranged in a power car+trailer+trailer+power car configuration.  The power cars were equipped with 4 x 250 hp English Electric 507 traction motors producing a total output of 1,000 hp (746 kW).  Maximum speed was 75 mph (121 km/h) and braking was electric-pneumatic.  They were all withdrawn by 1995 and one is preserved. (Tom Burnham pics)

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